Personally, I was disappointed with the campaign. It was a great opportunity squandered. I was monitoring a project about awareness raising for sexual and reproductive health and as part of the project, the ad/song was shown to a group of people who have neither ever heard the word condom nor were they familiar with the concept of family planning. I witnessed one such viewing in a rural settlement on the outskirts of Karachi. When the viewers were shown the song, not a single person got the message – that people need to plan their families and should space having children and stay protected against STDs and STIs. When asked, most of the respondents either thought it was a wedding song; it had something to do with rich people getting married and living happily ever after or it was about selling housing schemes to rich people. Not a single one of them connected with the message of the advertisement/song.
The only thing new about the ad was that it actually used the word condom for the first time in a TVC (television commercial) which is commendable but it failed to tell people what condom is and why it should be used? Its relevance, not only to family planning but also for other health and safety reason should have been spelled – loud and clear, especially in HIV high risk country like Pakistan (their own wesbite says that Touch is being targeted to high risk groups for disease prevention). Sadly, Greenstar marketing screwed the campaign gallactically, like all good things are screwed in Pakistan.
What I fail to understand that they spent HUGE amounts of money in an ad campaign that did not even reach out to its target audience – the uneducated Pakistani masses who produce something like 9 children per woman. What was the point? Why there was no pre testing done before the campaign was launched. Greenstar is a social marketing firm and they must have gotten the contract either from government of Pakistan or some foreign funding agency to run this campaign. If the government of Pakistan paid for it, then it was our (the tax payers) money badly spent and if it was foreign aid then the future tax payers will be paying for the advert. In any case, the loser is the common Pakistani, who did not benefit from a campaign that was supposed to target and educate its massive percentage of population in child bearing age and ended up paying for the cost of a marketing campaign that only benefited the ad agency and people connected to its marketing.
The campaign of Touch Condoms failed to ‘touch’ its target audience, what irony!